(Photo courtesy of SI.com)
Another UFC event is in the books, which means it’s time again to see who’s up and who’s down according to the Potato Index’s arbitrary numerical rankings system. It’s kind of like Bob Reilly’s poll, only we admit it’s total bullshit. And at least this particular brand of bullshit is more fun.
Diego Sanchez +123
“The Nightmare” proved he can cut almost forty pounds and still go three rounds at a steady pace. That could be bad news for some other lightweight contenders, though it would still be interesting to see how he stacks up against one of the better wrestlers in the division. Sean Sherk’s not too busy, is he?
Joe Stevenson -88
Another disappointing performance for Stevenson leaves us wondering where he can possibly go from here. He just doesn’t seem to have enough in his toolbox to hang with the top fighters, and secluding himself in Victorville, which is not known for its elite training facilities, certainly isn’t helping.
Demian Maia +204
If you’re going to do only one thing, you’d better do it extremely well, and Maia does. He forces another quality opponent to fight on his terms and puts him away with impressive ease. Is there any middleweight not named Anderson Silva who can pose a significant threat to him at this point?
Chael Sonnen -99
Getting submitted in two and a half minutes is not how you want to make your glorious return to the UFC. If that bout did determine the UFC’s best middleweight, at least now we know who it isn’t.
Nate Marquardt +163
He fought smart and finished with a flurry that looked like a Tekken combo. When he says he’s not the same guy who Anderson Silva pummeled, it’s hard to argue. Up next, Marquardt vs. Maia? You couldn’t ask for a better middleweight contender match.
Wilson Gouveia -54
Seems like someone has been reading his own press too much. Gouveia fell in love with the idea of his one-punch KO power and never thought further than one blow at a time. He’s got the physical tools, but isn’t long on strategy at the moment. That’s a problem he’ll need to remedy.
Dan Hardy +92
We get it, he can hit hard. He floored a tough, though somewhat overaggressive opponent in Markham. Now it’s time to move him up and see what else he can do. Jon Fitch is always good for answering questions like that, no?
Rory Markham -70
No matter how much of a bad-ass you are, no one can afford to get sloppy at this level. Markham needs to become more of a technician and less of a brawler if he’s going to stick around in the UFC.
Paulo Thiago +57
A huge upset victory is a good way to start your career in the UFC, but we’re still not completely sold. He looked outclassed for 99% of that fight, and he doesn’t seem big or strong enough to hang with some of the dominating wrestlers that populate the welterweight division. Only time will tell if he’s a flash in the pan.
Josh Koscheck -94
Everything was going beautifully until he put his head down and dove into an uppercut. Instead of complaining about the stoppage, he should admit that he got overconfident and careless. Then never do that again.
“Cigano” beats down another opponent with his clubbing right hand. From Werdum to Struve is a step down in competition, so hopefully we can see him moving upward for his next outing.
Stefan Struve -42
You don’t have to like the stoppage, but you should be thankful for it. Things were only going to get worse. Makes you wonder if there’s a place in the UFC’s heavyweight class for someone of those…proportions.
He’s not a heavyweight, but he plays one on TV. Ciesnolevicz definitely looked like a better fighter than he was in the IFL. Up next, how about giving him a go in his actual weight class?
Neil Grove -52
When you’re the bigger, taller, stronger fighter, you should probably limit the fight to areas where that is truly an asset. Trading heel hooks and ankle locks is not one of those areas. Fortunately he’ll have plenty of time to reflect on this while he rehabs that knee.
Terry Etim +55
The Anderson Silva comparisons may be a little premature, but he did look good when the fight stayed on the feet. Now did anyone understand more than three words from his post-fight interview?
Brian Cobb -49
When all you’ve got is takedowns, you’d better make the most of each one. He just didn’t look ready for this level of competition. Back to the gym.
U.K. Cards +178
Once again the UFC delivers from across the pond. As long as they keep these cards free and stack the undercard with interesting fights, there’s really nothing to complain about.